Mamelodi Sundowns 1 – 0 Al Ahly #CAFCL

Sundowns had three changes from the late win over the Red Devils in Cairo, as Mothobi Mvala, Haashim Domingo and Thapelo Morena were all recalled while Al Ahly were bolstered by the return of Percy Tau, who came off the bench in the return fixture.

The Brazilians were threatening on transitions in the early stages and they came close to breaking the deadlock in the 22nd minute after Mvala’s looping strike from the edge of the box was headed into the top of the crossbar by Yasser Ibrahim.

The hosts eventually broke the deadlock from the resultant corner as Peter Shalulile guided Lyle Lakay’s corner with his knee at the back post.

Mosimane’s charges were not given time and space on the ball going forward, particularly Tau, who was isolated upfront but Mohamed Kafsha had a chance to level matters just before the halftime break after going through on goal in the box but he dragged shot wide across goal.

The Red Devils were on the front foot after the halftime break but they were confronted by a deep block from Sundowns, as they struggled to create chances and Tau was withdrawn just after the hour-mark and was replaced by Ahmed Abdelkader in a tactical move.

The Brazilians were finding spaces behind Al Ahly’s defence on transitions and second-half substitute Pavol Safranko had a big chance to double their lead in the 73rd minute after a through ball by Themba Zwane but his curling shot was saved by shot-stopper Mohamed El Shenawy in a one-on-one.

Sundowns were inviting pressure from Al Ahly, defending deep in the closing stages, especially after Grant Kekana replaced Zwane but they dealt with the long balls from the Red Devils, as they held on to go six points clear at the top, with only two rounds of matches remaining.

Here’s how they lined up:

Sundowns: Mweene, Lakay, B.Onyango, De Reuck, Mvala, Jali, Mudau, Morena, Domingo, Zwane, Shalulile.

Subs: Pieterse, Kutumela, Kekana, Kapinga, Maboe, Modiba, Safranko, Mokoena, Ralani

Al Ahly: El Shenawy, Maaloul, Fouad, Abdelmonem, Ibrahim, Dieng, Soulia, Fathy, Tau, Afsha, Sherif

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